Thursday, December 03, 2009

Noodles with Roast Pork and Almond Sauce

I've been making at least a jar of homemade peanut butter every couple of weeks as we go through it like no ones business. Every so often though, I've been opting to use almonds, that we've roasted off, for a richer nut butter instead - we use both for everything from spreading on toast, apples, crackers and even using it in savory dishes. I put the food processor to work today to make the almond version as we needed it for this Noodles with Roast Pork and Almond Sauce dish we made this evening.

Using a small tenderloin for the cut of pork, we seasoned it simply with salt and fresh ground black pepper, then roasted it in the oven until it had reached the temperature we were after (I opted for roughly 145 degrees vs the 155 called for in the recipe - use whichever you are more comfortable with). Since it will be too hot to work with anyway right from the oven, a ten minute rest is required to not only allow it to be cool enough that you can shred the tenderloin without burning your hands, but it will help ensure the pork retains its natural juices and stays moist.

While that was off cooling down, we dropped a half pound of thick noodles, fettuccine in this case - when the pasta bell dinged, before we drained away the starchy water, we scooped out a quarter cup which we'll use right away. We used a portion of that warm liquid to thin out the almond butter we made, also adding in soy sauce, rice vinegar, fresh ginger and one of our favorite Asian condiments, chili garlic sauce (which happens to be killer on eggs if you've never tried it!). I only ended up using a couple tablespoons of the cooking liquid to get a consistency that flowed well, but if you want a thinner sauce, add as much of the remaining water as needed.

You can toss the pork, noodles and sauce together in a big bowl to serve family style, but tonight we mounded the fettuccine in a bowl, added the shredded pork, drizzled the tan sauce over each and then sprinkled sliced green onions and mint on top for a delicate, bright finish. I could see using peanut butter just the same in this dish, but the roasted almond butter added such pizazz that made it feel fresh and new, especially with those rounded, sharp notes from the vinegar, soy and ginger teasing our tongues with their tangy bite. If you're not a fan of pork, I could see using shredded chicken in its place, along with a nutty brown rice replacing the noodles for a different appeal.


  1. First of all, I'm so impressed that you make your own nut butters! And secondly, this is a fantastic recipe. I can't wait to try it.

  2. So nice that you made your own peanut butter. So much better. Great recipe.

  3. Mags - It is much easier than I thought it was!

    Helene - I agree... tasty stuff!